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[PSST: Let Christ reestablish a blameless character in you! (as in the paralytic, B11)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on;

Soul and Body”
for Sunday, November 24, 2013

By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com
[Steve's been a CedarS Program Director & teaches English at The Principia School.]

PSST – Golden Text:  Why does Paul ask that our whole spirit/soul/body be preserved?  What parts of our spirit/soul/body are more easily tempted?  (Think carefully about temptation here; look beyond sensual temptations such as sex, alcohol, towards other more seeming-innocuous temptations; aren't those lighter temptations the ones that sneak up on us more frequently?)  Why does Paul include blameless in his prayer?  What do we blame ourselves for?  What in ourselves do we blame?  How does Christ help us to substantially reestablish a blameless character in us (without just glossing over the areas of our experience that truly do need to be reformed)?

PSST – Responsive Reading: What are the supposed powers that we are tempted to choose between – the lower powers that attempt to contend with the higher power of God? Use this RR to specifically, substantially, and overtly declare that there really is "no power but of God".  What does this mean for all our wishes and efforts?  How does seeing God as the source of all power change the way we approach each day?  How do we access this power from God?  Look at what qualities this RR demands of us – that we walk how, that we put on what, and that we are in what? What does it mean to be a debtor – to what are we debtors?

PSST – Section 1: What does it mean to be formed by God; what does it mean to be formed by God?  Simplicity – this idea comes out in B5; what a beautiful concept that Christ's message is simple!  Speak with your students about this – what is Christ's message, how is it simple? How can we avoid being tempted away from its simplicity – either into something else, or into believing that Christ is not simple?  What beliefs in this first section are destroyed by Truth?  How does Truth destroy error? What other metaphors do we have for the power of Love overcoming evil?  Consider discussing what it is that each synonym of God overcomes.

PSST – Section 2: Of what are we taking heed?  What does it mean to take heed?  How does taking heed prevent or protect us from being deceived? Who is it that tries to deceive us?  How are we self-deceived?  How is God hidden from humanity?  What is it that hides God from humanity?  Do your students ever hide God in their own lives?  How do we find God if he is hidden from us at some point?  Where do limitations begin in our experience? Look at what S9 says is 'forged' in illusion.

PSST – Section 3: What does it mean to be undefiled?   What do those who have been defiled already – either by way of their own choosing or circumstances beyond their control – do, what recourse do they have?  What does it take to reattain our original standing as pure, innocent, undefiled children of God?  When is the time for demonstrating Good? (Don't accept weak answers on this – challenge students to really see when this is)  How/when are we tempted to think that 'now' is not that time?  What would change in our daily lives if we lived by the code that now is the accepted time, the time to demonstrate Good, Soul, Life?  Read S11 together and have your students memorize it.  This is a fabulous citation to have on hand in challenging situations. Then ask them next week how this citation has met their need throughout the week. (Consider checking in with them mid-week to see if they have memorized it yet)

PSST – Section 4: How do we demonstrate our faith? Do we hide it under a bushel?  How do we make our faith visible?  Do we make it visible? What does it take to make it visible?  What prevents us from doing so?  Can we make our faith visible without persecuting, or judging others?  What are the qualities of faith that promote harmony, joy, freedom, and health for all mankind?  What do your students view as primary?  How do we reverse the testimony of our senses – which still tell us that the sun is moving around the earth, and that Mind is tributary (vocab word) to the body?  What power does this reversal give to Christ in Jesus' ministry (B11, S17 & S18)?  [Warren: You may want to download, check out and reenact the possible Bible Reenactment skit that is posted in the upper right corner of CedarS website version of the Met by the title of “Jesus Heals a Man Sick of being bedridden with Paralysis” at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/articles/2013/11/no-body-can/  Especially helpful are Follow-up questions to help us reenact the lessons of such Christian healing– TODAY!]

PSST – Section 5: Why is Job's soul weary of his life?  What makes us weary on a daily basis?  What can change that perspective?  Mrs. Eddy speaks a lot about proportions – as one thing happens, proportionately to that happening, something else happens.  What does this mean in plain terms – help your students understand the concept of proportions.  But then discuss how to increase the portion of good in our lives?  What does it take to focus on claims of Good, more than those of error?  

PSST – Section 6: Do your students ever doubt?  Often doubt is seen as being quite negative, and those who doubt as being ineffective. It is certainly true that doubt limits our ability to heal and grow – Mrs. Eddy demands 'absolute faith' multiple times.  However, all is not lost, even to doubting Thomas.  What comfort does this section offer to those who may not have the conviction of Mary Magdalene, or the other apostles, or Jesus himself?  Why is this section a comfort to us in those times of doubting?  How do we meet and master (S25) this belief?

PSST – Section 7: What does it mean to present our bodies as a living sacrifice?  Is this reasonable?  What does this mean for our life-purpose, our daily activity?  What is the 'reward of the inheritance' referred to in B23? How can we 'hold fast that which is good' (B24)?  Consider defining 'hold fast' with your students – since fast has a different meaning than quick or speedy.  What does it take to be pure in heart?  Thinking back to section 3, if we don't feel like we are currently pure in heart, what can we do to obtain that blessed condition?  (Remember that it is the design of Love to reform the sinner, not to cut him off from all that is good)  S30 brings back into focus the concept of proportions introduced in Section 5; continue that conversation in light of this marker.  What is comforting about this final message?  What does God really want for us in our lives?

 

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